What, dear karikna, was your childhood dream?
Did you want to become a doctor, lawyer, priest, artista, or president of the Philippines? What are you today? Have you become what you aspired for when you were innocent and courageous enough to wish for your star? Or did you have to settle for second choices?
Why you settled for second choices, if you did, could be because of various reasons: lack of money, parents who don’t understand, practicality, love, unexpected pregnancy, poor grades, health, or maybe even laziness. But is it ever too late to pursuit a dream?
As a child, I always wanted to be a journalist. For play time, I would sit in front of a cassette recorder and hold my own talk show or stage a radio drama. Inquisitive and analytical, I always searched for answers. At other times, I would gather my friends in our garage and teach them about just anything. In high school, as editor of the student paper, I was fearless. After writing against fraternities, I got my first stars, the type of stars that circle your head after a heavy beating. While my parents feared for me, I had no fear.
But I did not take up journalism, mass communication, or education in college. Instead, I enrolled in philosophy and human resource development. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, and I found it exciting. My parents, who did not go to college, never interfered in my choices and supported me all the way. I did well inside the classroom and did even better outside its walls.
I should be today in the human resources department of a top corporation, and indeed my first job was at Citibank in Libis, but I really just had to teach and write, for these are my two loves, two things thankfully I now get paid enough for, two aspirations that, in my kiddy years, I was willing to do for free.
Yes, childhood dreams do come true.
And this is true for Brian Jay Corpuz, an instructor at the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) College of Industrial Technology, who hurdled the 2011 Bar Examinations conducted in November last year.
Though Corpuz always wanted to be a lawyer, a dream he, as a young leader, started nurturing at Davila Elementary School and the Ilocos Norte Agricultural College where he finished high school, he took a different route before realizing his legal aspirations. Owing to financial difficulty, he grabbed a scholarship from the Department of Science and Technology for a three-year Diploma of Technology at MMSU. After graduating in 2001, he went on to take up Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology. Graduating magna cum laude, he was valedictorian of MMSU Class 2004.
Focused and well-driven, the 29-year old bar passer obtained his law degree from Northwestern University in 2010 and took review classes at the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila, where the bar examination was held.
In college, the Pasuquin native was active both in campus press and student politics. He served as editor in chief of the student paper Sirmata and as president of the CIT Student Council. With all his cap’s feathers, he was chosen as finalist in the 2004 Search for the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines.
In 2006, he began teaching at CIT where he has handled professional education, political science, philosophy, and electronics technology subjects. Before being hired at MMSU, he worked as project development officer at the CHED Zonal Research Center and as teacher at INCAT.
Corpuz was writing his thesis for a master’s degree when he began to take up law. Heavily skilled in multitasking, he finished MA in Technology Education in 2007 at the MMSU Graduate School, from where he also earned units in the Doctor of Education program. Until last semester when he took a leave for the bar review, he was technical adviser of Sirmata.
“I accepted my personal circumstances which became my source of inspiration,” shares Corpuz. Raised by his mother Thelma, a fish vendor, he never had the chance to see his dad, a Saudi Arabian national sent by his kingdom to study aeronautics engineering in Manila. He spoke of a painful and difficult childhood details of which made this columnist teary eyed.
The future, however, is anything but bright for the new lawyer who counts legal luminaries Estelito Mendoza and Serafin Cuevas among his idols. Asked about his plans, Corpuz says he is “just happy with (his) students right now,” and is looking forward to being of better service to MMSU and beyond. He intends to specialize in labor law and civil law. On the personal side, he aims to finally attend to a love life he has taken for granted in the past six years. He admits being “on the hunt,” and wishes to start a family in four or five years.
A total of 1,913 out of 5,990 hopefuls passed the 2011 Bar Examination, which marked the change of exam format from essay type to multiple choice. Comprising 31.95 percent of examinees, it is the second highest passing rate in Philippine bar history next to the 32 percent in 2003.
The oath taking of the new lawyers will be held March 21 at the PICC. Attorney Corpuz will be accompanied by his proud mother.